The Ghost Hunters are NOT scientists

Nor are they scientific. Holding an EMF or K2 meter in your hand doesn’t make you a scientist. I’ve been reading quite a few articles recently comparing paranormal shows and one of the main arguments for the Ghost Hunters is how scientific they are. Scientific? Are we watching the same show? How can you possibly say the Ghost Hunters are scientific? Waving a meter (which has no actual scientific baseline) around in the dark does not make you a scientist. Holding a digital recorder and asking questions isn’t a scientific method. Quite frankly, the equipment they’re working with hasn’t actually been proven to do anything. There is no scientific benchmark that shows when these tools of the trade are actually working correctly. About the only thing that does have some real world guidelines is the EMF detector which actually has nothing to do with the paranormal world. It just happens to be something investigators have adapted to their craft.

For example, has there been any study to show how these "spirit boxes" work? Chris Fleming swears by this thing, but how can you prove it’s working? It blinks? It generates noise? It creates static? Does that mean its working or having a short? How do you know that if you left it in a box overnight it wouldn’t do the same thing? Would that box then be considered haunted?

Another tool Chris Fleming showcased was the K2 meter. Again, where are the benchmarks showing how this device actually works? Is there some evidence showing the box sitting in a controlled environment and never going off? How do we know it’s not influenced by common factors in the environment?

Ghost Adventures has been using the "spirit goggles" to show sprits talking on certain frequencies. Where are the benchmarks showing that it works? How do we know it won’t just make random sounds when the radio is on, or the TV, or the microwave or a renegade toaster?

Besides the equipment, they don’t even employ a scientific method for their investigations. The scene isn’t locked down, people can come and go as they please. They frequently have to check if other people are in the house because of it. And that is another problem, they have multiple people wandering a location at the same time. How is this not contaminating the location? When people are wandering all over the place, and talking, and yelling, and moving furniture, how can you possibly say any noise, voice, bang, pop, footstep is not just someone else in another room? Hell, it could be the camera guy half the time!

Putting all that aside what have the Ghost Hunters captured? What irrefutable evidence do they have? In my mind, nothing. Almost every single piece of evidence they have is audio related. And garbled audio at that. They have what they claim are voices interacting with them. Many of these don’t sound like anything, but yet they assign words to them. Truth be told, these recordings could so easily be faked. I’m not saying they are, but there is nothing to say these voices aren’t just someone whispering. Further, there is nothing to say these aren’t recordings of the other TAPS team members as they wander through the house. They could be echoes, they could be coming through the vents, they could be someone whispering instructions, again, it could be the camera man. They recorded something, but there is no way you can say with 100 percent certainty it’s not just another person talking. It isn’t undeniable. It’s something that could have an easily created and earthly explanation. And if that’s the case, to me anyway, it’s not paranormal. Truthfully, TAPS is hanging their hat on the EVP.

ALL the picture evidence, from pictures of shadows to pictures of orbs to figures standing in doorways can all easily be explained. Jason and Grant like to say that a photo is just one moment in time, it doesn’t mean anything (unless of course they capture it, then it’s definitive evidence) and I agree. Those images could just as easily be lens flare, dust on the lens, objects flying in front of the lens during a long exposure, someone vibrating the camera during a long exposure or someone walking near the camera during a long exposure. As someone who has taken hundreds of long exposure photos all sorts of things can happen during a 1-10 second shot. Flickers of light, dust, bugs, car headlights, flashlights, and drops of rain can make the coolest patterns and streaks in your photos (and that’s with the camera on a tripod, not handholding it like you see most investigators shoot).

Also when it comes to the photos investigators take, the flash can cause all sorts of shadows, specs and orbs. That is one of the dangers of taking flash photography in a completely dark location that has lots of reflective surfaces and is riddled with dust and dirt. Really? It’s a surprise to see shadows, streaks, odd shapes and colors? Perhaps you should take a photography course…

These anomalies aren’t proof of the paranormal. While the shadow figure makes for a wild photo, a shadow cast from a camera flash doesn’t intrigue me. I’m not saying those photos are fake, I’m just saying that sort of thing is far too easy to reproduce through bad angles and inexperience with a camera, not to mention Photoshop. Unless you can go to the same place and shoot the same photo over and over again, at different times, it just seems like nothing more than a camera artifact. Even the faces in the mist can in many cases be nothing more than a neat pattern. Breathing near the lens on a cold night can cause that same ghostly effect. Plus, the brain tries to make patterns out of everything, I mean don’t you see faces in the patterns of wallpaper and linoleum? Are they haunted? I have a hard time believing most of the evidence they come up with, there’s just too many other, more simplistic explanations.

And finally, when it comes to determining if a place is haunted they have no scientific method for measurement. They’re analysis is completely subjective. I’ve watched episodes where they get dozens of EVPs and other evidence and firmly say the place is haunted. Then, they get the same amount of evidence and say the place isn’t haunted. Ok, what’s the yardstick here? What are you basing your ruling on? There is no consistent measurement for their findings. If you base something on a whim or gut feeling, sorry, that’s not scientific.

I’m not railing on the Ghost Hunters, I’m just sick of reading how people think Ghost Hunters is so much better than Show A because they’re more scientific . Truth is they don’t have one scientific method amongst the whole group. Not a single thing they do is scientific. And again, I’m not trying to be rude, but nobody on this show actually has a background in science.

While the show can be entertaining (or at least it used to be), let’s keep in mind that just because they found something doesn’t mean it’s paranormal. It still has to pass the burden of proof and nothing they’ve found does that.

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Paranormal State, seeing the demonic in a box of Cracker Jacks

I think the West Virginia State Penitentiary investigation revealed a lot about Ryan. In fact, this season has shown me that Ryan is not the seasoned investigator that he thinks he is. In reality, he’s not even an investigator.

Ryan likes to scare people with his lack of understanding about symbolism. If you’ve been watching for any length of time you know how Ryan reacts whenever someone mentions Ouija boards, or there’s even a slight hint of the occult such as pentagrams. But what he fails to realize and explain is that these symbols and objects on their own are completely meaningless. And in fact, up until recently, the inverted pentagram was completely harmless.

The Ouija is simply a board with letters. Simply owning one doesn’t open any more portals into the demonic realm than owning Monopoly makes you a millionaire. It’s a toy, nothing more. Stop assigning all sorts of negative connotations to it. Further, if the Ouija is supposed to allow you to contact spirits why don’t you use it? Aren’t you and all the other investigators doing the exact same thing – trying to contact the spirits – when you stand there yelling at them demanding they make their presence known? A Ouija by another name?

Ryan has also gone completely over the edge when it comes to the demonic and especially the pentagram. Not only is he trying to inject ideas of the demonic into every episode, but as we saw in "Darkness Falls" all he has to do is see a pentagram and he starts to operate under his dark, emo, goth cloud.

First and foremost the pentagram, even upside down, has been used for decades without ever having any connotations to the demonic. Perhaps Ryan is familiar with the Masons/Freemasons? Perhaps you’ve seen their symbol of the pentagram? Been to an old cemetery? You’ll certainly see the symbol on grave markers. You calling these guys Satanists?

Organizations who have based their structure on the Masons also use the same set of symbols. Unless you are a naïve conspiracy theorist, I think you need to drop this juvenile association that just because you see a pentagram, evil is afoot. Keep in mind, before Hitler perverted the use of the swastika it was used as a sacred symbol by the Hindu’s. Same thing with the pentagram.

Considering the West Virginia State Penitentiary was more than likely built by the masons it really shouldn’t come as a shocker that a pentagram would make it’s way into the architecture. And even if it wasn’t built by the Masons I’m sure they had an influence somewhere along the way. But this pentagram is in a guard tower, as a window decoration, in plain sight. Hardly demonic. Once again, on it’s own, it’s meaningless and could just as easily be taken as the Masons leaving a symbol of their work behind. The fact that he jumped to so many unfounded conclusions proves to me that he is trying to create fear and hysteria with his investigations and has no actual intentions of debunking anything. But as we’ve seen, debunking doesn’t bring in the big ratings.

Ryan is on a witch hunt, both literally and figuratively. He’s seeing the demonic everywhere now. He has no want to explain these events or to even document them. He just wants to find one glimmer of the demonic and run with it regardless of what the evidence, or that thereof, supports. And from what I’m seeing, his actual understanding of what is and isn’t demonic is rather inaccurate. It doesn’t matter if you’re right, you just need to be scary!

I guess we should just start calling Ryan, Abigail.

Paranormal State – Darkness Falls
History of the pentagram

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Destination Truth: Season 1 – Finally on DVD!

insert giddy excitement here

I have literally been waiting years for the first season of Destination Truth to come out on DVD. I missed most of the episodes from that season and I can’t find a place where you can watch them online. I’ve only been able to see snippet here and there, but Josh seems just as over the top in the early days as he does now.

Destination Truth has become one of my favorite shows on TV and it has nothing to do with Josh’s paranormal exploits. He is just so damn funny and no matter what kind of bizarre or ridiculous situation he finds himself in, he takes it all in stride and declares "So we pressed on". When you’re chasing down mythical sea creatures, El Chupacabra, Bigfoot and other hard to pronounce creatures you really aren’t disappointed if he doesn’t find anything. You’re more amused at how he’s treated by customs and why his suitcase always seems to be open when it comes down the carousel. And let’s not forget the incident with the roof of the plane flying off while they’re circling the island. Oh wait, I’m jumping ahead in the story.

I’m very excited to see this first batch of DVDs and hope the rest of the seasons follow quickly. It’s available March 16th, right before the new episodes of Destination Truth come back on the air. I’m ordering up my copy now, I hope they have a lot of "extras"!


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Ghost Adventures: Season One (DVD)

Ghost Adventures Season One is on sale at Amazon for only $10.99, an impressive 45% off. There’s never a bad time to go back and check out some of those earlier episodes!


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